Saturday, April 26, 2008



Although the McCain-friendly corporate media has studiously avoided the topic, McCain has refused to release his multimillionaire wife's tax returns, even though she has financed his career-- and has acted as a bag lady at least once for his corrupt dealings (with Charles Keating of the Keating Five scandal)-- and even though the exact same media outlets, namely Fox, CNN, ABC, NBC and CBS, screamed their collective heads off about John Kerry's wife. Teresa Heinz Kerry married John Kerry when he already was a senator. She did release her tax returns, which were gone over with a fine tooth comb by the corporate media. Cindy McCain financed John McCain's political ambitions from Day One and there is no question that he would never have come close to winning his first congressional race without her wealth. Since then he has sworn he would not use her immense wealth to push his political career forward. Like much of what McCain says, that was a blatant lie meant to mislead the media (who don't care anyway) and the public.

McCain is not just one of the most personally corrupt men in the U.S. Senate, he is also one of the 10 wealthiest members of that millionaires club-- although he never actually earned any of it. He married it, and dumped a crippled wife and family to do it, first cheating on her for a year and calculating all the angles. Tomorrow's NY Times spills the beans about how McCain has managed to skirt the campaign finance laws (which he helped pass) while still staying out of prison. After prominently huffing and puffing how he wouldn't use corporate jets, unbeknownst to the public-- and unreported by his pals in the corporate media-- McCain has been using his wife's jet. The Times reminds us that "he backed legislation last year requiring presidential candidates to pay the actual cost of flying on corporate jets. The law, which requires campaigns to pay charter rates when using such jets rather than cheaper first-class fares, was intended to reduce the influence of lobbyists and create a level financial playing field." But, McCain being McCain, rules and regulations are always for other people, never, never, never for John McCain.

Allow me to run off on a tangent for a moment. A dear friend of mine, Mike Rogers, is the guy who helped out several hypocritical, right wing extremist members of Congress, lowlife Republicans who were voting to destroy the lives of gay men and women while sneaking around in the dark of night looking for anonymous sex. Because of Mike right-wing hypocrites like Ed Schrock (R-VA), Mark Foley (R-FL), James McCrery (R-LA), and Larry Craig (R-ID) have ended their shameful and destructive political careers-- and disreputable closet queens like David Dreier (D-CA), Patrick McHenry (R-NC), Lindsey Graham (R-SC) spend half their lives worrying about being outed. Not everyone appreciates Mike stellar work. I've heard him attacked not just from right wing hacks, but even from Inside the Beltway Democrats, who have benefited so mightily from his efforts. What does any of this have to do with McCain's deceitful nature? Stay with me; I appreciate the patience. Let me quote from the new issue of Out:
Once upon a time, closeted gay people mostly feared outing by Washington cops or counterintelligence agents. Now the main danger to closeted Republicans -- especially those working for antigay legislators-- comes from other gay people like Washington activist Michael Rogers. Rogers’s website BlogActive regularly outs gay Republicans-- whom Rogers considers fair game if they actively fight against the rights of gay people in their public lives or work for a legislator who does. (Because Larry Craig has a miserable record on gay rights, readers of Rogers’s blog knew all about the Idaho senator’s bathroom-based proclivities long before he was arrested for them in Minneapolis.)

What Rogers does makes some Democrats squeamish, because they think no one should ever decide for someone else when he must come out of the closet. But Representative [Barney] Frank is not among Rogers’s detractors.

“I think what Rogers does is legitimate,” Frank tells me. “I think hypocrisy is something to go after. If you had pro-life people having abortions, or if Sarah Brady had a gun, there would be no hesitation. Think of any other context in which people would be allowed to blatantly violate the public policies they advocate and say, ‘I have a right to keep this secret.’”

The erudite Frank-- often voted the smartest member of Congress by Hill staffers-- cites John Locke’s second treatise on civil government as the “philosophical grounding” for his position.

“Locke says that one of the major arguments for, in effect, representative government is, if the people who make the laws are not subject to the laws, they will make bad laws with impunity,” Frank says. “That was a very important principle in the document that was the single most important influence on our Constitution. A basic principle of free government is that rulers must be subject to the laws they make.”

You see where I'm going? Locke (and Barney) are correct and it doesn't only apply to psychotic homophobes like Larry Craig prowling men's rooms across the country looking for quickies in the stalls. McCain entire life-- starting even before he ever got into politics-- has always been premised on rules not applying to him. It's his biggest flaw and, more than anything else, the reason he shouldn't be allowed anywhere near the levers of power. His Republican colleagues in the Senate all know it as well, but their patriotism is in chains and being dragged along behind the Double Talk Express.

Back when McCain was a young navy flyer he kept crashing planes-- at least half a dozen of them-- and in one instance caused a serious diplomatic incident with Spain and in another killing scores of American seamen and destroying hundreds of millions of dollars in aircraft and military equipment. These accidents had two things in common: McCain was at the controls and McCain was never, ever, ever at fault in any of them. He was grounded though and told he would never be allowed to fly again, something he was able to circumvent by pulling some family strings. His instructors at the Naval Academy were unanimous in their assessment: McCain, who graduated 5th from the bottom of his class, never followed any rules or regulations. He had over a hundred demerits while he was at the Academy. Rules have always been for the little people, never for Leona Helmsley and John McCain.

...over a seven-month period beginning last summer, Mr. McCain’s cash-short campaign gave itself an advantage by using a corporate jet owned by a company headed by his wife, Cindy McCain, according to public records. For five of those months, the plane was used almost exclusively for campaign-related purposes, those records show.

Mr. McCain’s campaign paid a total of $241,149 for the use of that plane from last August through February, records show. That amount is approximately the cost of chartering a similar jet for a month or two, according to industry estimates.

The senator was able to fly so inexpensively because the law specifically exempts aircraft owned by a candidate or his family or by a privately held company they control. The Federal Election Commission adopted rules in December to close the loophole-- rules that would have required substantial payments by candidates using family-owned planes-- but the agency soon lost the requisite number of commissioners needed to complete the rule making.

Because that exemption remains, Mr. McCain’s campaign was able to use his wife’s corporate plane like a charter jet while paying first-class rates, several campaign finance experts said. Several of those experts, however, added that his campaign’s actions, while keeping with the letter of law, did not reflect its spirit.

“This amounts to a subsidy for his campaign, which is notable given how badly they were struggling last year,” said Sheila Krumholz, executive director of the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan group that collects and analyzes campaign data.

Mr. McCain was not available to be interviewed, a campaign spokeswoman said. In response to written questions, the spokeswoman, Jill Hazelbaker, said his campaign had acted legally and ethically in paying first-class airfares for Mrs. McCain’s corporate aircraft.

“The campaign carefully followed all the relevant laws and F.E.C. regulations on air travel at all times, and paid for travel exactly as required by those rules,” Ms. Hazelbaker said.

Last summer, just before starting to use his wife’s plane, Mr. McCain was quoted in a newspaper report as saying that he did not plan to tap her substantial wealth to keep his bid for the Republican presidential nomination going.

“I have never thought about it,” Mr. McCain was quoted by The Arizona Republic as saying at a July appearance. “I would never do such a thing, so I wouldn’t know what the legalities are.”

The McCain campaign turned to using the jet last August, a time when it faced mounting debts and the possibility of financial collapse. It stopped doing so in March, those records indicate.

During the first half of 2007, a time when Mr. McCain’s campaign did not use his wife’s jet, it paid out over $1.04 million for travel on noncommercial planes, F.E.C. records indicate. Over the year’s second half, when that jet was used almost constantly for campaign-related purposes, his campaign’s total spending for noncommercial flying was about one-half that much, or $542,160, those records suggest.

I don't have much sympathy for right wing Republicans, but when they complained about McCain being a hypocrite and being the most untrustworthy man in Washington... they knew exactly what they were talking about.

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At 12:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did I read right that McCain gets $58k a year from the Navy because he is classified as "100% Disabled"?

A guy who brags about how healthy he is hiking the Grand Canyon, whose only service-related physical medical issue appears to be limited mobility in his arms. Did all Hanoi POWs get this deal or is McCain getting some kind of backdoor influence-pulling payoff?

At a time when seriously wounded and indigent Iraq War veterans are having to fight and fight with the VA to get even partial disability payments, this is a major issue. This is almost as bad as wearing medals not earned, the bullshit charge they tried to smear Kerry with.

At 9:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't care what a bunch of perverts and queers think about anything under the sun.
What I want to know is why McCain voted against ANWR. What is this guys standard anyway. He should take responsibility for our troops dying in the middle east for oil. And for 5 dollar gasoline!
So should slick willy for vetoing the bill the last time it passed!

At 12:16 PM, Anonymous Montag said...

I remember a news report about a U.S. Navy Base on Bermuda that was practically useless, except to give cheap vacations to active and retired Navy officers. When McCain was questioned about the base he admitted that it should probably be closed, but then had to face the music that he himself had stayed there a number of times! Typical.

At 5:54 PM, Blogger Rich said...

To anonymous at 9:43:
One of the major reasons oil is so expensive is the same as the reason that cocaine is so expensive - the transporters of the stuff have to be paid extra for the danger involved in moving it.
Why is it so expensive? Bush and his buddies constantly rattling their sabers, threatening to attack Iran.
Oil movers fear, quite rightly, that Bush will attack any month now and Iran will then close the Hormuz Strait, which will send the price of oil skyrocketing still further.
Your buddy McCain is 100% behind Dear Leader and has been enthusiastically backing an attack on Iran since way back when.
Opening up ANWR will supply America's oil needs for a grand total of six months, and that's after spending a year to get all the drills in place.


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